Chelsea finally bring their manager saga to a close by replacing Antonio Conte with Maurizio Sarri?
If the latest reports are to be believed, then yes, a conclusion to the summer’s most drawn out manager chronicle is set to be reached in the next few days.
As has been previously reported, Sarri will sign a two-year contract at Chelsea worth £4.5 million a year (Express), with an option for a third season, and the 59-year-old is likely to bring Blues icon Gianfranco Zola back to the Bridge in a coaching role.
Since the season came to a close Chelsea’s current incumbent Conte has been linked with a number of managerial vacancies, however nothing ever materialised on this front, and he now looks set to receive a sizeable £9m in compensation from the Blues.
However, there’s been a twist regarding this pay-out as Chelsea plan to save a few pounds on this figure by launching a legal claim that Conte mismanaged the sale of Diego Costa last summer, with the striker infamously informed of his departure via text message.
Speaking of compensation, Chelsea will have to pay Napoli an unknown sum for Sarri. Napoli replaced the Italian with his fellow countryman Carlo Ancelotti last month, but he remains contracted to the Naples club and while we know that his compensation clause was previously £7m, this figure is now thought to have been halved.
The Mirror reports that the prospective new Chelsea manager even plans to live at the club’s training base at Cobham in Surrey.
Chelsea have yet to make a move in the summer transfer window, but Sarri will reportedly have £140m to play with (talkSPORT), and it’s been reported that the Italian is keen to raid Napoli for striker Dries Merten and defender Kalidou Koulibaly who are both at the World Cup. Juventus’ Daniele Rugani, Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino and Nice’s Jean Seri have also been linked with the club.